dog and cat

Although the snap, crackle and pop of fireworks are exciting for us, it can be scary and harmful to our four-legged family members. 

A record breaking heat wave is sweeping the nation and it’s about to get hotter this Fourth of July with bright lights, loud noises, backyard barbeques and time with family and friends.

Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe this holiday.

  • All pets should be microchipped and wear collars and identification tags with current information.  Cats should wear a break-away/safety collar.  Dogs should wear nylon or leather collars only.  Tags should not be placed on training collars or choke chains.
  • It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety. If you are going out that day, keep your pet indoors in a quiet, safe room with plenty of fresh water and give dogs several safe chew toys. Dogs that are crate trained will do better in a crate; while cats will do best in a room they are most comfortable, with food, water and their litter boxes.
  • Outdoor firework displays can be loud and crowded and are not the place to bring your pet. The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option either.
  • If you stay home, never use fireworks around your pet. Lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.
  • Pets are safest at home, but if you choose to bring your buddy to a picnic or BBQ, make sure to bring plenty of fresh water, keep your pet in the shade and try to make sure he/she does not eat table scraps, as too much human food can cause stomach upset.  Keep a sharp eye out for bones, because they can splinter if eaten.  Keep your pet on a leash, and if your pet is crate trained, bring the crate along as a safe refuge.
  • Make sure to keep all alcoholic drinks where you pets cannot reach them.  Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets and in severe cases can cause death.
  • Keep your pet away from citronella candles, matches, and lighter fluid. If they ingest these products it could cause gastrointestinal irritation and possibly central nervous depression.  In addition, do not use sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet that is not specifically labeled for use on animals. Consult your veterinarian for specifics.

Remember to keep a watchful eye on your pet this Fourth of July weekend and make sure to keep the name and number of your veterinarian and local animal emergency clinic on-hand in case of emergencies.

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